By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) National Cricket Academy (NCA) head Rahul Dravid was expected to get the support of the BCCI lawyers as he deposed before Ethics Officer D.K. Jain on Thursday. But what came as a big surprise was Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai writing to Jain and citing examples to ensure that the former India skipper is not held guilty of conflict by the Ethics Officer. More interestingly, it has been learnt that the letter went without any formal approval of the co-members.
Speaking to IANS, a senior board functionary said that while the whole idea of Rai writing a note to the Ethics Officer is wrong and killed the idea of the Lodha Panel proposing the appointment of an Ethics Officer to look into matters of conflict, not keeping all members in the loop is a bigger crime.
“The CoA chief writing a note is wrong in the first place as that can be misconstrued as an attempt to influence the Ethics Officer. Even if we keep that aside, the three member committee didn’t have any discussion on the same before Rai shot the note to Jain. If he did find it perfectly okay to write such a note, he should have written it in an individual capacity and not as part of the committee when he hasn’t taken permission from all the members,” the functionary explained.
Another board functionary said that the whole purpose of having an Ethics Officer is lost if executives/functionaries running the show in the BCCI will send in their take on matters of conflict.
“What is the point of having Jain as the Ethics Officer if you will send in notes and try and portray things in a certain manner? There is no denying the fact that Dravid’s leadership is the best thing to happen to youngsters coming into the system. But then, if there is a practical problem, shouldn’t the CoA look to bring that up in the Supreme Court and ask for a way out?
“That would seem a much obvious way to solve the issue than keeping shut when others speak of the practical problems with implementing the Conflict of Interest clause and then sending notes,” the functionary said.
Sources in the BCCI have said that Rai cited the examples of the likes of former RBI Governor Rajan who took a leave of absence from his teaching role at the University of Chicago to take over his governmental position. The note from the CoA chief tried to explain how Dravid is not in conflict since he isn’t being paid by his previous employers India Cements.
Asked if the CoA was at fault for this mess in the first place, the functionary said: “Who else? They told Dravid that just a leave of absence will be enough. Had they been clear, the former India skipper could have been saved of this embarrassment.”